Managing Group B Streptococcus (GBS) in Pregnancy

GBS Pregnancy


Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a common bacterium often found in the intestines or lower genital tract. While typically harmless in healthy adults, it can present serious risks during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postnatal period. To manage these risks effectively, expectant mothers should seek advice from experts such as Dr. Caroline Hoggenmueller, a renowned Obstetrician in Melbourne, who specialises in maternal health.

Understanding GBS

What is Group B Streptococcus?

Group B Streptococcus is a bacterial infection found in approximately 20% to 30% of healthy adult women, typically inhabiting the vaginal or rectal areas. Though it generally causes no issues in adults, during pregnancy and post-delivery, it can pose significant risks to the infant.

How common is GBS in pregnant women?

About 1 in 4 pregnant women are carriers of GBS, often without any symptoms. Regular consultations with healthcare providers, such as Dr. Caroline Hoggenmueller, an experienced Obstetrician, are crucial to effectively monitor and manage this condition.

Risks Associated with GBS

Risk to the mother

For the mother, GBS may lead to complications like urinary tract infections or infections of the womb post-labour. While generally not severe, these can occasionally escalate into more serious conditions.

Risk to the baby during pregnancy, delivery, and after birth

The main concern with GBS is its transmission to the newborn during birth, potentially leading to severe conditions such as meningitis or pneumonia. Prompt medical response is critical to manage these risks.

Screening for GBS

When and how is screening done?

Dr. Caroline Hoggenmueller and other obstetricians in Melbourne typically recommend GBS screening for all pregnant women between 35 and 37 weeks of gestation. This involves vaginal and rectal swabs tested in a laboratory.

Interpretation of results

A positive GBS test result requires proactive measures during labour to protect the baby. Obstetricians like Dr. Caroline Hoggenmueller are adept at interpreting these results and implementing necessary interventions to ensure the safety of both mother and child.

Management Strategies

Preventative measures during pregnancy

Maintaining routine hygiene is beneficial, but more specific preventative strategies are often planned for the labour process. Engaging with a knowledgeable Obstetrician in Melbourne such as Dr. Caroline Hoggenmueller can provide tailored advice on managing GBS.

Antibiotic use during labour

The administration of antibiotics during labour is standard practice if GBS is detected. This approach significantly lowers the risk of the newborn contracting the infection.

Monitoring the baby after birth

Newborns whose mothers tested positive for GBS are closely monitored for any signs of infection. Early detection and treatment are vital to prevent serious health issues.

Postnatal Care and Considerations

Signs of GBS infection in newborns

Newborns may exhibit signs such as fever, feeding difficulties, irritability, or lethargy. These symptoms necessitate immediate medical evaluation, typically under the guidance of specialists like Dr. Caroline Hoggenmueller.

Treatment options for babies

Infected newborns are treated with antibiotics in a hospital setting, under strict medical supervision to ensure effective recovery.


  • Can GBS be prevented?
    Complete prevention of GBS is not possible, but the risk to the newborn can be drastically reduced through appropriate screening and antibiotic treatment during labour.
  • Should I be worried if I test positive for GBS?
    Testing positive for GBS is relatively common and manageable. Consultation with an experienced obstetrician, particularly someone like Dr Caroline Hoggenmueller can help manage the condition effectively and safeguard your baby.


Awareness and proactive management are key to mitigating the risks associated with Group B Streptococcus during pregnancy. Expectant mothers need to engage with their healthcare providers, like Dr. Caroline Hoggenmueller, a skilled Obstetrician in Melbourne, to discuss the implications of GBS and ensure comprehensive prenatal and postnatal care. This proactive approach helps ensure the health and safety of both the mother and the newborn throughout the pregnancy journey and beyond.

This guide aims to educate and reassure expectant mothers and their families about GBS, emphasizing the importance of expert care and management during this critical time.